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Al Qaeda could seek 'foothold' in Nigeria, Clinton warns during trip

4/12/2011, 4:38 p.m.

Via CNN.com

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday visited Nigeria and warned it could be a target for al Qaeda.

Nigeria is the fifth stop in Hillary Clinton's visit to Africa, to be followed by Liberia and Cape Verde.

The country has been racked by violence between Christians and Muslims, with hundreds having died in riots over the past several years.

"Al Qaeda has a presence in Northern Africa," Clinton said. "There is not doubt in our minds that al Qaeda and like organizations that are part of the syndicate of terror would seek a foothold anywhere they could find one, and whether that is the case here or whether this is a homegrown example of fundamentalist extremism -- that is for the Nigerians to determine."

Clinton is meeting President Umaru Musa Yar'Dua and other leading politicians in the capital Abuja, the latest stage on an 11-day African tour designed to show U.S. commitment to the continent.